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Mahony Battle on Pornography

June 12, 1986

When people object to something, it is important for them to express their views and urge others to do the same. Two articles along those lines in the May 29, Times caught my eye: "Mahony Stirs Battle on Pornography" in the Metro section, and "Peace Group Protests Rambo Toys" in the Business section.

Archbishop Roger Mahony is urging boycotts of stores selling sexually explicit magazines and of television shows with explicit scenes. Perhaps the archbishop longs for the "good old days" when the Catholic Church published an Index of Banned Books from the Dark Ages through the 1960s.

But the Catholic Church's position, combined with the U.S. Attorney General's (Meese) Commission on Pornography's thinly veiled threats against 7-Eleven and other variety stores that sell Playboy, is a threat to personal freedom in this country.

I proudly subscribe to Playboy and rent X-rated movies at the local video store--and amazingly enough I'm not a drooling pervert who lurks near junior high playgrounds!

To assail the viewing of naked women and even explicit sexual acts because this allegedly causes violent behavior is ridiculous. It's more logical to assume that viewing violent films (such as "Rambo" or "Friday the 13th") would cause people to become violent.

I have read that the average X-rated film of the John Holmes/Seka variety has less violence than even a Disney movie. Thus, if those who oppose the proliferation of violence are really serious they should instead be taking aim at war, police, slasher, and western movies.

The War Resisters League is protesting the sale of Rambo toys for children because it opposes violence. But this more logical protest did not reach the front pages since it was fought by a powerless group opposed to America's macho culture. Unfortunately, some of this country's most powerful people are fighting sex and free speech. This attempt at censorship can only continue the slow but sure erosion of our precious personal freedoms.


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